Writing Essential Project Documentation Android

You might think that with its shorter schedules, smaller teams, and simpler functionality, mobile software project documentation would be less onerous. Unfortunately, this is not the case—quite the opposite. In addition to the traditional benefits any software project enjoys, good documentation serves a variety of purposes in mobile development. Consider documenting the following for your project:

  • Requirements analysis and prioritization
  • Risk assessment and management
  • Application architecture and design
  • Feasibility studies including performance benchmarking
  • Technical specifications (overall, server, device-specific client)
  • Detailed user-interface specifications (general, service-specific)
  • Test plans, test scripts, test cases (general, device-specific)
  • Scope change documentation

Much of this documentation is common in your average software development project. But perhaps your team finds that skimping on certain aspects of the documentation< process has been doable in the past. Before you think of cutting corners in a mobile development project, consider some of these documentation requirements for a successful project. Some project documentation might be simpler than that of larger-scale software projects, but other portions might need to be fleshed out in finer detail—especially user interface and feasibility studies.

Developing Test Plans for Quality Assurance Purposes

Quality assurance relies heavily on the functional specification documentation and the user interface documentation. Screen real estate is valuable on the small screens of mobile devices, and user experience is vital to the successful mobile project.

Understanding the Importance of User Interface Documentation

There’s no such thing as a killer application with a poorly designed user interface. Thoughtful user interface design is one of the most important details to nail down during the design phase of any mobile software project. You must thoroughly document application workflow (application state) at the screen-by-screen level and can include detailed specifications for key usage patterns and how to gracefully fall back when certain keys or features are missing. You should clearly define usage cases in advance.

Leveraging Third-Party Testing Facilities

Some companies opt to have quality assurance done offsite by a third party; most quality assurance teams require detailed documentation including use case workflow diagrams to determine correct application behavior. If you do not provide adequate and detailed documentation to the testing facility, you will not get deep and detailed testing. By providing detailed documentation, you raise the bar from “it works” to “it works correctly.”What might seem straightforward to some people might not be to others.

Providing Documentation Required by Third Parties

If you are required to submit your application to a software certification program or even, in some cases, to a mobile application store, part of your submission is likely to require some documentation about your application. Some stores require, for example, that your application include a Help feature or technical support contact information. Certification programs might require you to provide detailed documentation on application functionality, user interface workflow, and application state diagrams. Providing Documentation for Maintenance and Porting Mobile applications are often ported to additional devices and other mobile platforms. This porting work is frequently done by a third party, making the existence of thorough functional and technical specifications even more crucial.

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